Menu | Functions | classification

Menu is a list of food and beverages offered by a service outlet

It gives information to customer about the price , description ,method of the dish in attractive manner and act as selling tool. Menu also reflects class of establishment. It is derived from Latin word ' minutus ' and the word menu is French in origin. Menu is printed in brochure or in various form and formats like book, poster,white boards.

Functions of Menu :-

1. It helps customer to know range and list of food and beverage available in service outlet

2. It also helps service staff to know the type of dish outlet will be serving

3. Guest can know details of dish like accompaniment served , garnish , ingredients used.

4. Customer can order according to their budget

5. It also helps to cashier while preparing bills. 

6. Menu also gives freedom of choice to guest

7. It also reflect the themes of restaurant and establishments.


Menu are classified into two :-

1. A ' la carte menu :- It is a French term which meant ' from the card . A la also refers to in the style of 

  • It offers multiple choices in each courses
  • It is expensive than Table d ' hote menu
  • Each dishes are individually priced in menu
  • Food items are prepared in semi prepared form
  • Waiting time is more
  • Menu is vast and elaborate
  • Silver is laid according to dishes ordered
  • Portion served are larger
  • Dishes are individually priced
  • Food wastage may be high as there are multiple choice of dishes.

2.  Table d' hote menu :- 

The French term Table d' hote can be translated as ' from the table of the host '. It includes three to five courses which are priced collectively. 
  • It has limited number of dishes from  each courses
  • It is inexpensive compared to  A' la carte menu
  • Silver is laid in advance as we know what the guest may be ordering from
  • Food is kept in fully prepared form
  • There is no or less waiting time
  • Portion served are small/ less
  • Menu is small and limited.
  • Menu is collectively priced and guest has to pay for entire course
Types of menu :-

The menu can be A ' la carte or Table d' hote or both in hotel which is designed according to meal time of day. Based on the  time of day and service different menus are there which are :-

  • Breakfast menu :- Breakfast meant breaking the fast . It is the first meal of the day served between 7 to 10 a.m
  • Brunch menu :- Brunch menu is a meal menu between Breakfast and lunch
  • Elevenses :- It is light meal served at mid morning hours 
  • Lunch and dinner menu :- It is heavier than breakfast menu . Lunch is served  between 12 to 2 pm while dinner is served between 6 to 10 p.m
  • Supper menu :- it is served late at night . This menu is popularly served in night club.
  • Room service menu :- It includes limited dishes available for a service in guest rooms . Room service menu are served 24 hours
  • Diet menu :- It is designed for customer with diabetes , high cholesterol, high blood pressure. The menu have low calories dishes
  • Happy - Hour menu :- it aims to increase revenue through sale of food and beverage by offering discounts/ reduced rates during lean time.
  • Functional menu :- They are special menu designed for functions and occasions
  • Bar menu :- menu designed for bar.

Modern course in menu normally ranges from three to four . A four course Menu consists of :-

1. First course ( Appetizer / starter )

Hot or cold appetizer are served which stimulates the hunger

2. Second course ( Soup ) 

Various types of hot and cold soup are served in second course

3. Third course ( Main course)

The main course consists of large size of fish or meat dishes which is accompanied by vegetable dishes. Different sauces are served with main course.

4. Fourth Course ( Dessert ) 

Dessert served are sweet and have distinct flavour ,taste.

In three courses menu,appetizer is skipped and soup ,Main course, dessert are served. 

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